Broadway legend Stephen Schwartz visits RCT
for premiere of Children of Eden Jr.
August 7, 2016 - It was night that will be remembered by these young actors for a long, long time. After the curtain came down on an emotional and uplifting final production of Children of Eden jr. at the Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy, the cast was met by the entire creative team, led by its writer and composer Stephen Schwartz
“Thank you all so much for doing such a beautiful job…It was thrilling for us to watch this, and to see your great talent, passion and professionalism. It was really gratifying for us” said Mr. Schwartz, who was also joined by Drew Cohen, president of Music Theatre International, John Prignano MTI Operations officer, Lindsey Maron, who wrote the adaptation and musical arranger Alex Ratner. During his 40-year career, Schwartz has won four Grammys, three Academy Awards and a Tony Award. He is the only songwriter in Broadway history to ever have three shows run more than 1,900 performances. Riverdale Children’s Theatre had the rare distinction of being chosen by the show’s creators to be one of the first programs to perform the condensed version, Children of Eden Jr. Mr. Schwartz and the team met with the cast of 38 kids for an inspiring Q and A about the show and more. “Its been a long journey” Schwartz reflected,”and it was really exciting and heartening for us to see it come completely and beautifully to fruition, realized just gloriously by you. It was a special evening for us, one we will always remember.”
The musical Children of Eden, written by Schwartz and John Caird, and based on stories from the book of Genesis , is one of the most popular shows to be performed in regional and community theatres worldwide. The production was the centerpiece of RCT’s acclaimed Summer lights summer program. “It was the Summer of Schwartz” said Executive Director Derek Woods “He really is a living legend. His kind words will resonate with our kids, and our entire organization for a very long time. For the cast to meet him was a tremendous thrill, an incredible culmination of 5 weeks of hard work and daily rehearsals.”
RCT is a Bronx-based Non-Profit Theatre Education program, and was recognized in 2011 by Backstage Magazine as one of the 12 amazing children’s theater companies in America. It also has the distinction of being one of the official pilot programs in the country recognized by Music Theatre International (MTI).